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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:34 am 
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https://youtu.be/30jGWna4-Ns?t=257

So, i thought it was interesting to see how they made a staff-internal demake/prototype of a game they had in production using NES TLOZ-based assets to test out how every object would interact with the other. Sort of a development kit/sandbox for the designers to play around with ideas. It also looks like it could be loads of fun, like a distilled (and different) BoTW experience.

It's interesting to see how things interconnect here.
-You can chop trees to make them into logs
-Logs can be pushed into the river
-Logs float downstream
-But you can also use them as rafts to cross the river or ride them as riverbound transport
-They can catch fire
-Hence, you can transport fire on the river

That in itself sounds like a fun puzzle game to me.

<rant>
Incidentally, in the very next subject in that video, they talk about my second least* favourite feature of BoTW - how lightening is attracted to having metal worn or equipped. I can see how they want you to mind your surroundings and sometimes be forced to use wooden things wich mixes up the experience a bit, but what it essentially comes down to is tedious micromanagement. Thunder means "Pause whatever you're doing, because first you need to interface for the sake of interfacing"-

*The least favourite feature is slipping when climbing and it rains. You can't control the weather, so you have to either
-wait for the sun to come out
-resort to take another path
-have the climb take a lot more time, with the possibility of failing the climb

<slight spoiler>
I get it in zora's domain - they want to present you an interesting gauntlet. But they could've presented it raining too heavily due to the circumstances explained, and just not let it be a thing elsewhere.</s>
</rant>


Another point of interest in these "the making of" video series:

-They logged the trace of their testers (probably what eventually wound up as the path of the hero feature) in order to figure out where people were most likely to go. They then used this data to populate the world with points of interest where their testers didn't go. This really makes sense for this sort of game. One could have thought that for many other types of games, the team would focus their time and budget on detailing the most probable routes, but this would of course be for the worse in an open world.

I suppose emulator recording would yield some interesting insights in nes homebrew development, too, as a complement to interviews/free comments. If you can somehow extract things like when the player takes a hit, loses, drops pace, maybe it can help detect problems and difficulty spikes the tester/s may have overlooked mentioning.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:27 pm 
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That actually looks more fun than the final game. :lol:

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Incidentally, in the very next subject in that video, they talk about my second least* favourite feature of BoTW - how lightening is attracted to having metal worn or equipped.

I thought the lightning thing was a pretty good idea. The real problem is the godawful interface; this is just one of the ways they rub your face in it, along with weapon breakage, Korok hunting, the Compendium...

FrankenGraphics wrote:
*The least favourite feature is slipping when climbing and it rains.

Yeah. The rain doesn't even actually stop you, it just annoys the hell out of you for no good reason - I 'sequence broke' into Zora's Domain by scaling the back wall, long before I was high enough level to fight my way in properly.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Rahsennor wrote:
That actually looks more fun than the final game. :lol:

^^^

I couldn't even make it halfway through the game. The only test this game presents you is a test of patience; you start of being one-shotted by everything, but the combat quickly becomes too easy due to having enough health to survive at least one hit from anything, and thus live forever because of food. The lack of challenge wouldn't be bad if enemies were actually fun to fight, but the combat system is a half step above button mashing and the non-existent enemy variety doesn't help either. There isn't even a reason to fight anything; weapons you get from monsters don't do you any good because they all break in under ten swings. Shrine puzzles are a joke; most a piss-easy and the few that aren't can still be beaten by cheese tactics that shouldn't be allowed. I'm not a story person, but if the story were even just okay, I might play through the game to see how it plays through, but you already know exactly what happens ten minutes into the game. I actually have to ask what the player is supposed to get out of the game; you don't become any better at the game because there is nothing to get better at, and you aren't exposed to anything new and interesting due to there being no real story, no enemy variety, and a vacant world with seemingly procedurally-generated terrain. (Why were people surprised that this game fit in 16GB? The same stupid tree model is used everywhere, and many of the textures are also very low-res.) It's borderline Wii Music, but somehow got 10/10 across the board.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:58 am 
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rahsennor wrote:
I thought the lightning thing was a pretty good idea. The real problem is the godawful interface; this is just one of the ways they rub your face in it

Yeah. It hadn't been bad if it didn't make it mandatory all too often to dive into the inventory menu. It also still a hassle even when you happen to have cloth armor. For example you might need to remove sword and shield, then push hold bow-button, then remove the bow, too.

It´s extra dickish when this isn't just the occasional weather phenomenon, but the way an enemy attacks. Thunder wizzrobes are so annoying. Better just snipe them from afar or grab and run whatever they're guarding. I don't know if what you wear affects the Lynel attack; i just avoid them.

I like that there's a ton off different non-obvious strategies like setting up a lightning rod to trap enemies, but the interface hassle outweights the fun in this case.


Quote:
That actually looks more fun than the final game.
Yeah! I'd like to attribute that to the directness of the prototype.

espozo wrote:
The lack of challenge wouldn't be bad if enemies were actually fun to fight, but the combat system is a half step above button mashing and the non-existent enemy variety doesn't help either.
Yeah, i find all too often that it's up to me to come up with slightly new ways to kill them off, not because it is needed for victory, but for keeping boredom and sameness creeping in. For all the effort they spent on the fighting dynamics, it's a shame the surrounding system isn't supporting it favourably.

Overall, i think wildly varying weapon/gear stats and direct action doesn't mix.

---

On enemy variety, i'm a bit surprised some classic enemies didn't appear. In order of noted absense: Peahats, Tectites, Leevers, Armosi, Darknuts, even Ghinis...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Now I haven't played the game yet, but what about wearing moderate amount of metal to avoid having to change equipment so often and just swallow the lighting bolts or other extra damage received for not having the ideal equipment at all times? If they enemies are as easy as it sounds it might not be so bad.

No Tektites or Leevers? I thought it was bad enough that Twilight Princess broke the Octorok's perfect attendance record already, and then Skyward Sword was also missing some staple enemy that I forgot. But I'm happy to see Lionels returning, I think it's their first 3D Zelda appearance (not counting Link between Worlds as a 3D Zelda)?

Quote:
-Logs float downstream
-But you can also use them as rafts to cross the river or ride them as riverbound transport
-They can catch fire
-Hence, you can transport fire on the river
I always felt wood catches fire way too easily in Zelda games. This illogic comes in the way when puzzle solving, because who would think that you could use a torch to light a bunch of planks of solid wood like it was a candle? There's a limit of how illogical you can make stuff before people gets confused.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:38 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
On enemy variety, i'm a bit surprised some classic enemies didn't appear. In order of noted absense: Peahats, Tectites, Leevers, Armosi, Darknuts, even Ghinis...

The other enemies I thought of were Dodongos, Skultulas, and Deku Boko Babas. That's nine enemies right there. Excluding all ten slight variations of the same enemy, all you have in Breath of the Wild are Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizolfos, Chu chus, Keese, Octorocks, Pipits, Wizrobes, Lynels, Guardian Scouts, Guardians, and the two Yiga Clan soldiers; that's about half of what they easily could have before delving into more obscure stuff. In fact, when you ignore all the variations of the same enemy, Breath of the Wild handily has the worst enemy variety of any Zelda game: http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_enemies

Pokun wrote:
Now I haven't played the game yet

My word of advice; if you've liked most all Zelda games before Breath of the Wild, then you won't like this one.

Pokun wrote:
what about wearing moderate amount of metal to avoid having to change equipment so often and just swallow the lighting bolts or other extra damage received for not having the ideal equipment at all times?

But getting hit by electricity makes you drop your weapon like a dumbass.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:51 pm 
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I see, I guess it wouldn't work then.

Quote:
Breath of the Wild handily has the worst enemy variety of any Zelda game: http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_enemies
Heh lots of palette swaps. I guess the molblin/moblin are the only enemies left with a perfect attendance score now?

Quote:
My word of advice; if you've liked most all Zelda games before Breath of the Wild, then you won't like this one.
Wasn't it you who thought this game was basically flawless before?

It's pretty much my destiny to play this game though so I have no choice. As soon as I can buy a Switch. I'm in the middle of a move so I can't really buy lots of stuff right now.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:06 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
My word of advice; if you've liked most all Zelda games before Breath of the Wild, then you won't like this one.

That runs contrary to a ton of people I know who like BotW and most/all Zelda games before it. None of my Zelda-fan friends (of which I have many) have said didn't like it. I liked it fine, too.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Well, they set out to break established conventions of the Zelda franchise and they succeeded. It might not be a game for every sort of zelda fan, but i've enjoyed it so far (mostly because of the exploration aspect).
BUT, in many ways it is also a partial return to TLOZ. I guess fans that hold N64-style zelda in higher regard than early days zelda may find that problematic, but i like it.

One thing this game however is missing is interesting dungeons as a main course. The shrines are like mini-dungeons; short, same-looking, and generally they come in two varieties: A puzzle, or a mini boss fight (rated minor, modest and major - it's basically the same fight over and over but with modified guardian AI and obstacles). The four divine beasts are more like proper dungeons. (edit: slight spoiler on their structure ahead): First a scripted battle, then a string of puzzles with occasional enemies tossed in, then a free-form boss battle in the end. But they also feel kind of samey once inside. Then there's the hyrule castle, too, but i haven't gone there.

There's also a bunch of mazes and special "trials". I found those to be the most exiting aspects not related to just pure open world exploration. I also like when they force a gauntlet into a quest, like getting to zora's domain or retrieving the thunderstorm mask.

espozo wrote:
Breath of the Wild handily has the worst enemy variety of any Zelda game

You could technically call the wolves an enemy as they have somewhat more capacity to inflict damage than most other wildlife. They also tend to gang up on you in groups of two to three... but yeah.

They also missed my childhood favourite baddie, the Goriya. But they haven't seen much screen time overall, so i'm not as surprised there. Lizfos fills that spot somewhat in BotW.

Ok, so my suggestion to nintendo would be this:
-Cooldown timer for eating food so you can't spam healing; hopefully balancing battles so that they work like what seems to be intended and promoted. Maybe apples and other snacks would saturate the cooldown meter less.
-New DLC containing 1 or 2 new enemies per region. Keep them mostly unique to that region, so each region gets an identity that extends beyond the scenery and main quests. Gibdos and Leevers make sense in the desert, for example.
-Make horses fuss less about trivial obstacles a real horse would easily traverse if it had to.
-Make knockdown effects interactable. Like a timed a button press to recover faster. Don't make me a bystander! Be it lightening, concussive blows...
-localize rainslip to the zoras domain quest.
-anything they could do to minimize having to mess with the interface in heaps, really. I think this aspect may be suffering from being intended for the Wii U but then had to work for both platforms mid-developemnt. It'll hopefully get sorted out in the next big zelda title, i would presume.

More tied to the link in the OP:
-Take that design tool and make it a "zelda maker"? Would sell for sure.


pokun wrote:
But I'm happy to see Lionels returning
They were tough in the original, but they are absolutely terrifying here. It's actually one of my top memories so far with this game trying to hide behind a rock formation with a huge and scary lynel snooping around the corner as if it smelled me. We went on circling for a while until i failed and it found me. Then i ran, but not fast enough.

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Last edited by FrankenGraphics on Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:45 pm 
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I forgot i intended to answer this, too:

Quote:
I always felt wood catches fire way too easily in Zelda games. This illogic comes in the way when puzzle solving, because who would think that you could use a torch to light a bunch of planks of solid wood like it was a candle? There's a limit of how illogical you can make stuff before people gets confused.


It's not a clear case for me. On one hand, i think it's good design if it's like it seems in that prototype footage: Something the player is meant to discover by accident. Finding a way to make this chain reaction useful will make you feel like you've accomplished something you've found out. In these cases, department from realism/clear signage isn't bothersome, because the player is in the business of figuring out the rules of the game in a creative and nonobstructive way.

But on the other hand, it may be bad design if there's this thing you're supposed to do and there's no other way around it, and it is not obvious from the looks of it what you're supposed to do (setting plank on fire could qualisfy as such).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
Wasn't it you who thought this game was basically flawless before?

You're mistaken; I've never expressed anything but disappointment for this game.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
I guess fans that hold N64-style zelda in higher regard than early days zelda may find that problematic, but i like it.

A Link to the Past is actually my favorite Zelda game though; the difference is that there is actual challenge, a varied environment, and a story to progress.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
The four divine beasts are more like proper dungeons.

But still not like proper dungeons. Not to mention there is basically no payoff for completing them other than just that.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
-Cooldown timer for eating food so you can't spam healing; hopefully balancing battles so that they work like what seems to be intended and promoted. Maybe apples and other snacks would saturate the cooldown meter less.

Definitely, or perhaps greatly diminishing the amount of food you can carry and/or the amount of health recovered from each meal.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
-Make knockdown effects interactable. Like a timed a button press to recover faster.

Teching in The legend of Zelda? :lol:

Image

I'd also like if enemies weren't thrown like a ragdoll too; if they aren't sent careening off the edge, you have wait for them to get up.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
They were tough in the original, but they are absolutely terrifying here.

...until you get Stasis+.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:11 pm 
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espozo wrote:
Stasis+
Haha! I've used stasis on an enemy once and never again because it felt like such a cheat i felt ashamed. Yet another thing that breaks all the dynamic when fighting. :lol:

Quote:
I'd also like if enemies weren't thrown like a ragdoll too; if they aren't sent careening off the edge, you have wait for them to get up.
At that point i just ignore them and move along. Maybe it can be problematic if you're after a monster chest and the mook survives the fall? But i can't recall that happening.

Quote:
Definitely, or perhaps greatly diminishing the amount of food you can carry and/or the amount of health recovered from each meal.
The former needs to sort food ingredients from other ingredients if you're to cap their amount, and the latter still means you can hoard food (not bad in itself, but it doesn't actually limit heal abuse). Combined, that could work, though - I feel as though it may be a somewhat indirect approach to the problem messing with other things in the way. But it would have been interesting to try out.


Quote:
A Link to the Past is actually my favorite Zelda game though; the difference is that there is actual challenge, a varied environment, and a story to progress.

I think ALttP is interesting because it is the first to introduce a progressively unfolding story. BotW is more akin (again) to the two nes games where you're quickly introduced to the theme and have to see it through to get the resolution. This is what made facing ganon so great in the original game, because you had built up all that anticipation. But maybe that's not enough anymore. Then there's all these subplots and background stories you can uncover while playing BoTW but iirc, none of them drives the story forward like in A Link to the Past.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:46 am 
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Wasn't it A link to the Past that "destroyed Zelda" according to certain fans, because it introduced "hand-holding" and linearity in its story. I don't agree though, as I generally think a game should have lots of linearity (70% as Miyamoto used to say) and link to the past is my favo Zelda too. But I agree that some of the recent Zeldas has a bit too much linearity and hand-holding, and wishes it returns a bit more to its roots in this case.

Quote:
You're mistaken; I've never expressed anything but disappointment for this game.
I see, must have been someone else.

Quote:
in these cases, department from realism/clear signage isn't bothersome, because the player is in the business of figuring out the rules of the game in a creative and nonobstructive way.

But on the other hand, it may be bad design if there's this thing you're supposed to do and there's no other way around it, and it is not obvious from the looks of it what you're supposed to do (setting plank on fire could qualify as such).
You are totally right, I don't really remember if it has caused me much trouble in puzzles. I remember in the fire dungeon in Wind Waker when there where wooden planks that couldn't be destroyed by your sword and you are supposed to burn them. I'm used to try all kinds of weird things in Zelda games though so I probably tried throwing a torch on it right away and never really got stuck here. It's more just nitpicking from my side because I thought it looked so dumb. I was like "What? Have the developers never started a campfire or something? There's no way that could work!" (I guess it's possible that the wood is extremely dry though since this is inside a volcano, but still). But if you wanted to make this a bit more realistic Link would probably have to start a fire from smaller pieces of wood bellow it or something and wait until the solid wood finally catches fire, there might just not be a good/fun way to implement that in the game. Another example is in Ocarina (and possibly other 3D Zeldas) when you shoot an arrow through the fire from a torch it just catches fire like if it was soaked in oil or something. I think that weirdness might actually have gotten me stuck in a puzzle, but I don't remember clearly.

Quote:
I'd also like if enemies weren't thrown like a ragdoll too; if they aren't sent careening off the edge, you have wait for them to get up.
I think this is a problem in about all the 3D Zelda games. You hit an enemy twice or three times and he's down, you wait, he gets up, after two whacks more he's done for. Just too easy and time consuming. There are challenging enemies too in all Zelda games but 90% of them are like this or weaker in the 3D Zeldas. You never have the chance to try out all the cool moves and items you have got hold of, because most enemies are so weak they can be defeated with normal sword swings.

Quote:
Cooldown timer for eating food so you can't spam healing; hopefully balancing battles so that they work like what seems to be intended and promoted. Maybe apples and other snacks would saturate the cooldown meter less.
Like in Vanillaware games where you have a cooldown timer for food that fills your stomach, but medicine does not affect the timer, and can be spammed.


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